Just wanted to share this little bit of news out of an industry in which I’ve worked. Gambling profits in Macau (China’s Las Vegas) have been falling in recent years due to crack down on corruption. Though there’s been somewhat of a come back, it seems that the newly opened Parisian Macau casino, a Sands Property, has been making half the expected mass-market gambling profits per table. The COO of Sands Macau ascribed this bad news for the company to “one particular customer,” adding that “she wins every day and she’s doing very well and she affected the numbers.” It seems unlikely that one gambler could so affect mass-market numbers. So the question is why did the company pin the bad news on an anecdotal guest? I think it’s not difficult to see that this could be an effective marketing ploy. Gamblers are a superstitious bunch, especially in Asia. Bad news for the casino is good news for the gambler. So a casino saying that the house is being beat is probably good motivation for gamblers to play at that casino. Add on top the gambling trope of Lady Luck and the use of a female gambler in this anecdote, there is a strong case for the COO’s statements as good promotional strategy. Can you think of other situations where bad news for a company can be turned into a promotional strategy?